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2012-2013 School Year

Adalia (16) will be attending Running Start at our local community college. Running start is a great program here in Washington state where high schoolers can take college level classes while in eleventh and twelfth grade. As a homeschooler, Adalia will be able to (with some hard work) graduate with a  high school diploma and her Associate of Arts degree in two years. In the fall she will be taking: Biology, Art and English 101. She will do her other classes here at home.

Judah (14) and Tilly (13) will be doing the majority of school work on the computer using the Switched on Schoolhouse curriculum. I simply haven’t been able to keep up with these two in terms of checking schoolwork and preparing the new work for them. Apollo’s needs have kept me so busy we decided to go with something this upcoming year that required a little less me. Besides, they are to an age where working independently is completely reasonable with the right curriculum.

Enoch (12), Kalina (11), Jubilee (9) and  Hezekiah (8) will all be homeschooling the way we’ve been doing all along.  I am already making plans to do a History class with a friend next year to guarantee some fun in our week. We are about to complete Story of the World Volume IV, and will begin again with Volume I in the fall (Hezekiah was toddler when we did it the first time).

Tucker will join us in the fall as a full-fledged first grader! He learned to read earlier this year and has really taken off. I can’t wait to do some more formal learning with him.

After much thought, prayer, discussion and soul-searching, we’ve decided to send Avi to school in the fall…along with Mordecai. School has been a very positive experience for Mordecai and I hope it will be the same for Avi. I’ve given it my best shot here at home and have been completely unsuccessful in engaging her…I’m not big on formal academics at her age, but she refuses to participate, do simple tasks or even go with the flow. I am hoping our local school will work the same magic on her as it did on Mordecai.

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  1. Lou

    Hi Renee,
    I know it’s a hard decision for you (the last one), but I think you are doing the right thing. The two advantages are: 1) the teachers-if it’s a spec ed teacher-will have years of experience with kids who won’t participate. And 2) you would be amazed at the power of peer pressure. I don’t mean in a negative way. I mean, if there are a bunch of other kids her age all doing the right thing, then I suspect Avi won’t want to look silly by refusing to participate. It’s not a negative thing about you as a teacher at all. It’s just a fact: we are social animals and we like to fit in. But at home she will always be one of the babies, and so there is no “pressure” really. I have friends with a very difficult 9 yr old and yet they are constantly told that she is perfect at school.

    I hope everything works out for you and for any of the kids who have a big change coming up.

  2. Susan Watson

    I am so happy for you and your decisions in schooling. I have always said that I’d never send my children to public school but that is in normal circumstances. No one should judge and I shouldn’t say, “never”. I’d do just as you with your situation. You’re doing a great job with your family. May the Lord bless you abundantly!
    In Christ,

  3. Cheryl

    I know this isn’t why you posted this today but I wanted to say thank you for the reminder that it is ok to reevaluate and make changes.

  4. Non-Mommy

    Even though I plan to homeschool someday, I have always thought that, for me and my mother, homeschooling would never have worked. We simply butted heads too often, and I was much more motivated to work for other people. I don’t have the background that Avi has, but perhaps you’ll find it the same for her. I’m sure this is a tough decision, but hopefully this will be best for everyone!

  5. Ruth

    I was sooo close – I only missed that Enoch wasn’t doing Switched On Schoolhouse! We have used SOS off and on over the years and have found mostly great success (Jeremy and Jason loved it, Jessica hated it (she preferred book in hand), Jonathan struggled some (dislexia), Rebekah, Rachel, and Reuben did quite well (none of them are avid readers), and Daniel was doing excellent on it (he lives to read)). We didn’t use it this past year, but I’m considering doing it again this year with Rebekah down to Daniel, with the exception of using Math-U-See for math with all the kids.
    Jeremy did Running Start and it took him 3 years to compete his GED and AA in computer science. What they didn’t tell me is that only the first two years are covered by the public school system, year three was out of pocket. He ended up taking a third year to complete for two reasons…he didn’t take 4 courses the first semester, and he had no credits coming in to the program. So you might want to ask questions about what it really takes to complete the program in 2 years. Also, he couldn’t get a diploma for some reason, but that had to do with Blaine public school system, so I’d recommend asking questions about that too. Late in the game we found that he couldn’t graduate with an AA until he had completed his GED, so he had to work to get that done in time to graduate!
    Tough decision for Avi, but it’s probably the right decision. I know you guys take homeschooling seriously, and I would probably be doing the same thing if I were faced with the same situation.
    Lastly, I just wanted to encourage you to not be bummed about a school year that didn’t go as planned due to a child’s illness. BTDT too many years! I had that this year, and while we did next to nothing school wise this year, Rebekah tested out jumping 2 – 3 grades in every subject! The other kids all improved as well, most of them gaining more than 1 year as far as testing goes. God works in our kids even when we can’t be the mom we want to be. God also works in our children through the trials of having a mother who’s got her hands full with a sick little one of health problems of her own…it builds up their faith and character, but especially an appreciation for all that their mom does for them when life is “normal”.
    You’re doing a fantastic job, Renee. I’m thankful that God has allowed me to be your friend through these years.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Ruth, Adalia has talked with a councilor and they supposedly have it all worked out for to get both her diploma and AA. The councilor knows she wants both and helped her work out a schedule that accomplishes both. Thanks for the heads up though!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Casey- yes. But thankfully a different class them him (the school has two “intensive learning” classes).

  6. Unknown

    Is there a reason that it’s all of your adoptive children leaving the house? I mean… Job Corps and now Public Schools? Why aren’t any of your biological children being pushed out the door the same way at the same time? Are you tired of investing time/energy into them?

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Unknown- I’m going to ignore the snarky tone I’m hearing in this comment (it is, after all, difficult to read emotion on the computer) and assume to have an actual interest in my family and perhaps others have had the same question. You could view it as all of my adopted children attending public school, or you could view it (just as accurately) as all of my children will severe learning disabilities attending public school. All of our adopted children have very significant learning disabilities. I tried, unsuccessfully for several years to teach Mordecai to read- something the teachers at school, in his special needs class, taught him in a matter of months. As I mentioned to the commenter above, Avi will indeed be in the special needs class. The reality is, the teachers at their school have all kinds of training I don’t have and are equipped in ways I am not. I have had nothing but positive things to say about Mordecai’s schooling this year.

      As far as Job Corps, that choice was 100% Keziah and Boaz’s. I don’t know how long you’ve been reading the blog, but Keziah was well past her 18th birthday when she chose to go- and she loves it. Prior to that I was homeschooling her, she was taking adult education classes at our community college and meeting once a week with the private tutor we hired. At Job Corps, she receives all of that (well, not me homeschooling, but schooling) PLUS job training. The kids also get paid for their progress there and have both saved a nice chunk of money. Boaz joined Keziah a few weeks later and loves it as well. He is very seriously considering joining the military after he has his GED. I am VERY proud of how much my Liberian children have accomplished in their short time here in the United States and look forward to seeing their future successes as well.

  7. S

    I’m glad to see that you are choosing what is best for each student.

    Our current foster children look as if they are going to get to stay with us permenantly (God willing). Looking ahead, I can see each of them needing different styles of learning. One of them has a speech disability that can also carry over into other issues that may appear as schooling continues (think dyslexia, etc; memory issues are already apparent) and will continue to need speech therapy for years. The other child won’t need these services and has already made supstantial progress here at home. I can see one thriving in public school and the other in homeschool, possibly. At first I felt odd even thinking about sending them two different ways. Isn’t it the purpose though, to give to the student what the students needs in the environment that is best for them? That means it is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

    Thank you for the encouragement to continue considering what I feel would be best for the child. Also, thank you for showing us all that it really is okay to change what you are doing and take a different course. I know that it is okay to do so, but so often I feel as if once you have chosen one route people put it in stone that you must continue on that route.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      S- thank you. I certainly hope they are as successful with Avi as they have been with Mordecai! We have always said we homeschool to give our children the “best possible education”. If that’s not happening, I am certainly willing to look elsewhere.

  8. Linda

    I am writing in defence of the “attack” on pushing adopted children out the door. I also have six adopted, five bio. Seven are still being homeschooled and adopted children do, indeed, present extra challenges. All my adopted children, as well, have some type of learning problem (diagnosed by psychologists). It certainly does not indicate that they are loved less – I adore all my children but it serves no one to deny that children that have not had the care they deserve in utero don’t pay for the mistakes of their bio mothers. They also have ALL been tramatized with being torn away from their first homes, possibly several homes. This leaves a scar on children that lasts a very long time. I have decided to keep them hope to give them the best advantage possible but that cost me my very lucrative career (registered nurse). I have nothing pressing (like a child with constant doctors appointments) to make me consider school. I am a fierce homeschooler but think you are doing the right thing. A mother can only be pulled in so many different directions. You have been under a tremendous stress for a very long time. Your success and positive outcome is comforting, but does not relieve stress. A mother’s health determines the health of the family. You (and your husband) are tremendously dedicated to your family and your children are blessed to be such a home. No one understands the needs of adopted children like another adoptived Mom.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Linda- thank you so much for this well written response. Ironically, if you’ve read my latest post, we are now sending our three youngest BIO kids to school this year. We now have new medical issues with Apollo to deal with, and as you said, I can only be pulled in so many directions.

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